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The Dallas Mavericks quickly learned that you shouldn't take your opponent lightly, even if their best player is out. Heading into Game 1 of this matchup against the Clippers, Dallas was favored because Kawhi Leonard was ruled out, and rightfully so, L.A. is a different team without the two-time champion. But instead of Dallas getting a win, they not only lost Game 1 but were pretty embarrassed, fell behind by as many as 29 points, and never held a lead in the game. That's thanks to James Harden, Paul George and Ivica Zubac all eclipsing the 20-point mark, while Terance Mann and Russell Westbrook reached double figures as well.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 64 points. But when the rest of your starting lineup musters up only 14 points combined with the bench adding on another 19, you're not going to win any games.

As we prepare for the Clippers and Mavericks matchup, here's what you need to know ahead of Game 2.

Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 2

  • Date: Tuesday, April 23 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • Location: Arena -- Los Angeles
  • TV channel: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
  • Odds: Mavericks -1.5; O/U 216.5


Clippers: Leonard is listed as questionable for Game 2, so there's still a chance he won't be in the lineup Tuesday night. But L.A. proved it can win without Leonard, so that shouldn't be too big of a concern. However, you have to imagine that Dallas won't play that poorly again, so the Clippers will have to figure out ways to adjust when the Mavericks start making shots. Harden turned in a vintage performance, and the Clippers will need him to keep doing that as long as Leonard is out. But if their star forward does return for Game 2, it will only make things easier for the rest of the Clippers and give L.A. another defensive weapon to throw at Doncic and Irving.

Mavericks: It can't get much worse than Game 1, right? Scoring eight points in an NBA quarter has to be the lowest of lows, so the good news for the Mavericks is it can only go up from here. But in all seriousness, that was a flat out appalling performance from the hottest team heading into the postseason. Irving turned in the best performance, and while Doncic had 33 points, he was pretty inefficient. But they're far from the main problem here. Dallas needs its role players to knock down open looks. P.J. Washington going 2 for 7 from deep can't happen again. Neither can Derrick Jones Jr. put up zero points as a starter. Daniel Gafford made Zubac look like prime Shaq, while Dereck Lively II and Maxi Kleber weren't much better in the frontcourt. Dallas needs to improve in all areas on both ends of the floor if it wants to tie up this series because Sunday was the perfect opportunity to gain some momentum, and the Mavericks squandered it. 


Getting embarrassed like that has to light a fire under any team, and I don't think Dallas shoots that poorly and plays that lazily again. The Clippers will make it tough, but I think Doncic comes out firing and does anything in his power to not let Dallas lose this game. The Pick: Mavericks -1.5